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Moving a Door in Your House.

Object: Occasionally a door might need to be moved in your house for some reason.

In my daughter’s house in Atlanta is a bathroom with a door leading to the tub and commode room and a door between the vanity area and the game room, but only a cased opening between the vanity and a bedroom. The new baby has taken over the bedroom and, when visiting, we cannot use the bathroom for fear of waking the baby, so we decided to move the door from the tub room and place it in the cased opening leading to the bedroom. When the house was built, the doorway was cased, but no door was ever installed.

The first step was to measure both openings to be sure that the door would fit when moved. It did.

Moving a Door

The next step was to remove the door. Using a power drill/driver, I removed the screws from the hinges and set the door aside. I did not remove the hinge (either part) from the door. I then measured the position of the top screw (down from the top of the casing and in from the edge). I then took this measurement to the new casing and marked it and drilled it with a 1/8” bit. Then I measured the bottom screw hole and transferred that measurement to the new casing, where I drilled another hole. Then I positioned the door with hinges over the drilled holes and installed the two screws. This allowed me to swing the door closed and determine if it was going to fit the opening. Once I determined that the fit was proper, I outlined the hinges with a pencil and marked the place where the latch was to catch. After removing the door and hinges, it was now time to chisel out the places where the hinges would fasten to the casing. This can be done with a router, but the most common tool is the wood chisel. Using a hammer and chisel, chisel out the wood where the hinges will sit. Chisel it deep enough so that the hinge sits flush with the door casing and then install the door. Be sure to drill out the screw holes with a small bit so that the screws do not split the wood.

Fill the Holes

Once installed, you must install the strike plate where the latch hits the casing. Using your tape measure, determine from the old door location exactly where to chisel out the new door casing so that the latch bolt will have a place to slide into. It may help to drill out the hole with a ¾” or 1” bit so that the hole is smoother than it would be if chiseled out.

Once you have the strike plate in place and screwed down, it is now time to place doorstop molding against the door. This can be purchased at a building supply store. Try to match the existing molding in shape and size. Be aware that it may not be possible to remove the existing molding if it came as part of a pre-hung door. Pre-hung doors are made in such as way that they slide into each other from opposite sides of the door. This molding is actually a part of the door casing and is not removable. If you attempt to remove it, you will destroy the casing.

Once the doorstop is installed, caulking must be used along the edges on both sides to close up the cracks left by ill-fitting wood. Nail putty should be placed on the nail locations after setting the nails with a nail set. Finally, paint the new doorstop to cover hammer marks and the spots where nails were placed.

Note: In my particular case, I did not chisel out the hinge locations because the cased opening was nearly ½” larger than the original door opening, meaning that the door was not quite wide enough to fill the opening. Therefore, by placing the hinges on the surface of the casing, I was able to close approximately 1/8” of the gap





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